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Saturday,  May 25, 2024 2:07 PM 

A bright year ahead for Sunny Isles Beach

A bright year ahead for Sunny Isles Beach
From left: David Lydia, tourism director, Aventura Mall; Elsa Sammartano, sales specialist leader, Marriott International; Ibis Romero, executive director, Sunny Isles Beach Tourism and Marketing Council; Luis Echezabal, director of leisure & international sales, Turnberry Isle Miami; German Villa, director of sales & marketing, Doubletree by Hilton.
Blake Wolfe

Blake Wolfe is an award-winning journalist and editor, who joined PAX after nearly 10 years in Canada’s newspaper industry. In addition to PAX, his work has been featured in publications such as the Metroland Media group of newspapers and the Toronto Sun.

Members of Florida’s Sunny Isles Beach tourism and hotel community braved the cold and headed north to Toronto this week, to discuss all that’s new for the community in 2018.

PAX recently sat down with Ibis Romero, executive director, Sunny Isles Beach Tourism and Marketing Council, and a group of hotel representatives from the region during their time in Canada this week.

Measuring just 2.5 square miles, Sunny Isles Beach is located just 15 minutes south of Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and only 30 minutes from Miami International Airport and the city’s cruise ports, welcoming Florida-bound travellers from a number of entry points. Providing a quiet respite from the party atmosphere of Miami’s South Beach, the community features 10 hotel properties, offering a range of accommodations.

“We’re small and a great family destination, not far from South Beach, so if you want to go down there and have fun and all the craziness down there, you can come back to us and relax,” Romero said. “We have something for everybody, from a two-star art deco hotel that’s been there forever to a five-star, five AAA Diamond property.”

Residence Inn Miami Sunny Isles Beach

Opened this past November, Marriott’s Residence Inn Miami Sunny Isles Beach features 194 rooms offering inter-coastal or ocean views. Offering more services than other Residence Inns, the pet-friendly property includes both a meeting space and outdoor events venue, a rooftop pool on the ninth floor, an on-site mini market and grocery delivery. An introductory rate and group offer is currently available.

Doubletree Ocean Point Resort & Spa

Doubletree by Hilton’s 137 guest rooms (consisting of one- and two-bedroom suites with full size kitchens plus washer and dryer) all enjoy a partial ocean view. Renovations of the property’s lobby and main restaurant, along with the replacement of drapes, sofas and armchairs in the rooms, all took place in 2017, with bathroom renovations set to take place in May. A 3,500 square-foot meeting space with natural lighting features four meeting rooms with ocean views.

Turnberry Isle Miami

Turnberry Isle Miami

Part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection, the Turnberry Isle Miami has a big year ahead. In December, the hotel will be rebranded to a JW Marriott property following a $250 million expansion currently taking place, which will see the 360-room hotel grow to 685 rooms, through the addition of a new 325-room luxury tower. Renovations will also take place to the property’s other luxury tower this year, while the two additional towers, renovated in 2015, will undergo scheduled renovations by 2021. A five-acre water park is also opening in December, featuring a tower with seven slides, a triple flow rider, kids area, luxury cabanas, private pool, lazy river and more.

Aventura Mall

A partner and neighbour of Turnberry Isle Miami, the Aventura Mall is the largest in Florida, featuring 300 stores representing a wide range of brands, from H&M and Disney to Gucci and Louis Vuitton. A 315,000 square-foot expansion opened in November along with a new food hall, and with more than a dozen restaurants plus a collection of various art pieces throughout the mall (including the Aventura Slide Tower and a new water feature titled ‘Gorillas in the Mist’), there’s more than just shopping available here.

More about Sunny Isles Beach

  • Visitors can hop on a shuttle bus which travels up and down the main roads of Collins Ave. and the William Lehman Causeway, stopping at most hotels in the area as well as both Aventura Mall and Bal Harbour Shops.
  • Florida’s Oleta River State Park is located just south of Sunny Isles Beach, offering guests opportunities for camping, paddleboarding and other outdoor activities. “You’re in the city but would never know it,” Romero said.
  • Dog owners rejoice – Sunny Isles Beach boasts several dog parks and for those travelling with their four-legged friends, most hotels are dog-friendly.
  • Staying connected to friends and family is easy – the parks of Sunny Isles Beach all feature free WiFi and by the end of the year, WiFi will also be available on the beach.
  • The community’s oceanfront is home to several restaurants right on the beach, as well as the only fishing pier in Miami-Dade County. Not wanting to let that ocean view go to waste, the men’s room in the pier’s restaurant also faces the Atlantic.